Drones

Article

Walking Loudly and Carrying a Big Stick

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

A divergence of opinions between males and females is an "enduring characteristic of polls on the use of military force, regardless of the weapons system employed, military mission undertaken, whether the intervening force is unilateral or multilateral, and the strategic objective proposed," says Micah Zenko. Citing polls from the early 1990s to today, he investigates why this persistent difference in opinion exists and what it may mean for U.S. foreign policy.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy; Defense Technology; Drones

Op-Ed

If Trayvon Were Pakistani…

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

Following President Barack Obama's remarks on the Trayvon Martin case, Micah Zenko highlights the inconsistency in Obama's policies towards justice. Although the president has stated in reference to the case that it is wrong to profile individuals based on their "appearance, associations, or statistical propensity to violence," and the use of lethal force cannot be justified as self-defense unless there is reasonable grounds to fear imminent harm, those are the exact foundational principles of U.S. signature strikes.

See more in Pakistan; United States; Drones; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity

Foreign Affairs Article

Why Drones Work

Author: Daniel Byman

The Obama administration relies on drones for one simple reason: they work. Drone strikes have devastated al Qaeda at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.

See more in Somalia; Pakistan; Yemen; Drones

Foreign Affairs Article

Why Drones Fail

Author: Audrey Kurth Cronin

Drones are not helping to defeat al Qaeda and may be creating sworn enemies out of a sea of local insurgents. Embracing them as the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism would be a mistake.

See more in Global; Drones

Op-Ed

Confront and Confuse

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

In response President Obama's recent speech about drones Micah Zenko writes, "What matters now is whether the Obama administration will actually tell Congress and the American public how it is conducting targeted killings."

See more in United States; Drones

Op-Ed

How Barack Obama Has Tried to Open Up the One-Sided Drone War

Author: Micah Zenko
Financial Times

Micah Zenko examines U.S. President Barack Obama's May 23, 2013 speech on drone strike and counterterrorism policies. "The enduring impact of Mr. Obama's speech will not be what he says, but whether the new policies are reflected in how drone strikes are conducted, and whether his administration will finally and faithfully engage with the public, more than a decade after the operations began," Zenko writes.

See more in United States; Drones; Wars and Warfare

Op-Ed

Talking in Circles

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

Micah Zenko explains why the speech made by Harold Koh, former state department legal adviser, earlier this week is nothing more than a reiteration of the "fundamental myth of the Obama administration's targeted killing program."

See more in United States; Drones

Op-Ed

Outsourcing Lethality

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

Micah Zenko explains why critics of U.S. targeted killing policies should not overlook "similar attacks conducted by allies and partners who receive U.S. money, weapons, or actionable intelligence."

See more in United States; Drones

Ask CFR Experts

Is using drones against terrorists cheaper than using special forces?

Asked by The Universal Human and Civil Rights Union, from Brooklyn, New York

The Obama administration has increasingly relied on drones in its counterterrorist operations. And, as I explain in a recent CFR report, U.S. special operations forces are doing more things in more places than ever before. The heavy reliance on both drones and unilateral commando raids needs to be reassessed.

Read full answer

See more in United States; Drones; Special Operations

Article

Law and Ethics for Autonomous Weapon Systems: Why a Ban Won’t Work and How the Laws of War Can

Authors: Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson

Grounded in a realistic assessment of technology, Matthew C. Waxman and Kenneth Anderson outline a practical alternative with which to evaluate the use of autonomous weaponry that incorporates codes of conduct based on traditional legal and ethical principles governing weapons and warfare.

See more in United States; Drones; International Law